The treasure trove that is Bombay Stores

A couple of days before Christmas Ellie came up for a short visit and we decided to go and do a bit of fabric shopping. I am trying not to buy things and to be good but I do need to make several new Steampunk outfits and I just do not have enough yardage of any one fabric to make all these so I thought I would treat myself to some for Christmas.

We are lucky enough to live near Bradford which has the most amazing Asian fabric shops, our favourite being the wonderful Bombay Stores which we have visited several times, notably to buy Amanda’s and Kerry’s wedding fabric. As well as fabric they have Asian wedding dresses so we always have a quick look at that section to marvel at the beauty of these. They also sell amazing bags, shoes and jewelry, this video gives you a quick overview of all of the fabulous things.

I adore the Asian dresses, if you are not familiar with them then I have found a couple of Pinterest pictures for you to admire. The colours and the embroidery, beads and crystal are amazing and there are so many different colours available as well as traditional red.

Asain wedding dress 1

Asain wedding dress 2

We were really lucky that day as they were having a sale – brocades at £1.25 a metre and satins, organza and lining fabric at 75p a metre! I had been planning just to buy a sari set to get enough fabric to make one outfit as these are very good value at between £20 and £30 depending on style but instead got a total of 35 metres of fabric plus silk and embellishments for under £40.It was indeed a very happy Christmas to me 🙂

I am taking my inspiration for the first outfit from a few sources. I love this outfit by Yaya Han, who is a cosplayer and model and wanted to make something peacock inspired. I have not bought this pattern as it a little too fitted for me so am planning to use one of my other Steampunk patterns.

Yaya Han Peacock costume

I have also found some lovely hats like this one below and I love the colours they have used so wanted to have a peacock hat as well.

Steampunk Hat 1

I also have a set, bought from Bombay Stores as a present by Amanda, to say thank you for making her wedding coat. I did not have time to make up before her wedding so it has been in the stash ever since . It has a fabric for a full length tunic with the most amazing embroidery as well as fabric for lining.

Raj fabric 2

I bought the turquoise fabric with lining and the turquoise and gold organza in the picture below intending to just use that but they all go so well together that I am going to use all of them for an outfit which will be a turquoise jacket embellished with embroidered motifs.

Raj fabric 3

I also bought some small pieces of silk in peacock colours as well as these gorgeous jewels to make peacock embellishments. I think they will made wonderful decorations for my purple top hat which I plan to wear with the outfit.

Raj fabric1

The other part of the haul was 10 metres of this amazing brocade plus some gold lining fabric.

Bombay stores gold

 

I was not certain which pattern I was going to use for that however my lovely Steampunk Seamstress Squadron Facebook sewing friends alerted me to a 50% off Simplicity pattern sale last night so I bought this coat pattern. I am think of making a fairly straight skirt to go with this coat as an evening outfit for the ball at Lincoln Asylum event in August.

simplicity-military-cosplay-costumes-pattern-8769-envelope-front

I also was lucky enough to have some fabric and a bag of very cute charms for Christmas from my brother Ben and sister-in-law Amanda, I love these patterns and am going to save the charm pack and fat eighths ones for a future quilt as I think the autumn colours are gorgeous. One of my retirement plans is to make lots of quilts for different seasons for my bed.

Christmas preseent fabric 1

Christmas preseent fabric 2

I have lots of things that I have made over the past couple of months that I have not posted about yet and some other plans for evening making as the outfits will have to be weekend work, which thankfully I have so many more of this term! I have just finished knitting a little hat for my great-niece Ava, now to knit some dinosaur spikes to go on it.

I hope you are all having a fun weekend with lots of nice crafting or other things planned. Thanks as always for visiting my blog, I have just upgraded my WordPress subscription to get rid of all of the adverts as they were becoming very irritating so hopefully you will all enjoy your visits even more now.

Take care and I will see you all soon.

La Marina sunsets and other Spanish delights

Happy 2020 everyone! I know I am a little late with my greetings but have only just got back from my very lovely and much needed break in Spain. I had a horrible bug before I left which lasted well into the holiday so have spent much time coughing and feeling rough but have come back feeling much better.

It was brilliant weather all the time I was there, much warmer than usual with temperatures of 27 degrees just before Christmas so I was able to go for lots of lovely walks in the sun and had a couple of very warm beach picnics on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. I love the fact that it looks like this in January! Look at all blues in this picture.

Spain beach

We also visited the local spa a couple of times which was heaven and I spent lots of time sorting out at the house and sitting on my terrace enjoying the sun.

One of the best things about La Marina are the amazing sunsets over the mountains, I know I have mentioned them before but the sheer beauty every night never ceases to amaze me and I try and go for walks at dusk to see them.

Spain Sunset 7

There are such amazing colours of purple, pink and orange in the sky as the sun sinks behind the mountains.This is one of my favourite areas to view the sunsets and I love the contrast of the cacti against the sky.

There are equally lovely sunrises over the sea but due to me getting up very late whilst on holiday I rarely see those, this picture was taken on my last morning when I had to get up early for my flight home.

Spain sunrise

I love finding new areas to explore on my walks and last visit went over the other side of the urbanisation and found a new verde, or green area, so went there again this trip. I will go back again as I was not wearing proper shoes to enable me to explore fully but I found another one of the cultivated garden areas that people make in these wild spaces.

Spain planting 5

This one was not so much a secret garden as it is beside the road but was still a wonderful collaboration of planting and seating areas by the owners of the neighbouring houses.There was a fir tree in the middle that had been decorated for Christmas as well which was very lovely.

Spain planting 3

I also found a couple more areas where people had converted the verde in the middle of a block of houses into a communal pool area and they looked equally gorgeous with the back gardens of all of the houses looking onto this beautiful shared space.

Spain planting 6

Spain planting 4

I just love wandering around looking at all the houses and gardens and getting inspiration for mine. The plants are so beautiful against the blue sky and there are oranges everywhere on the trees lining the roads. They are too bitter to eat but I have plans to make marmalade and orange relishes when I am there permanently. The bottom two pictures are from one of my favourite gardens, it looks like a mini stately home and there are terraces and gorgeous tiles everywhere.

Spain planting 2

Spain planting 1

Spain planting 8

Spain planting 7

My own house needed some TLC as since I last visited there had been some severe storms so the rain had come in under the front door. My Mum had to treat some damp which meant the loss of a few items that had gone mouldy. I also had a water leak under the front terrace which meant that my beautiful bougainvillea had to be cut down leaving the garden looking very bare. The whole of that back wall used to be covered with flowers.

Spain terrace 7

My Mum gave me some money for Christmas and my Aunt Maureen took me to our favourite garden centre where I bought lots of new terracotta pots and pretty flowers so everything is looking much brighter now.I even have a tiny new bougainvillea.

Spain terrace 6

Spain terrace 5

Spain terrace 4

Spain terrace 2

Spain terrace 1

Spain terrace 8

I also bought a cute new lizard for my wall. My neighbours who live there permanently have offered to water the plants for me so hopefully some will survive until my next visit in June.

I have already taught the first session of the year and am looking forward to this term.Things are a lot less hectic than last term as I only have about half the teaching and am on the the last stage of the doctorate so am going to be planning lots of lovely sewing and knitting which I will post about next time. I have new fabric (some I bought and some given as presents) as I treated myself to some for Steampunk outfits so am going to spend some of next weekend sorting that out and will take pictures of all the gorgeousness for you.

Meanwhile hope you are all well and happy and enjoying the first bit of the new year, although it is miserable weather again here I am very much looking forward to the next couple of months as there will be lots more crafting time. Take care and thanks for visiting.

Sew cute

I really think these dinosaurs are the cutest things that I have ever made, I did love the dolls I made last year but think these are just so sweet. They are for my great niece for Christmas, she will be 3 in Feb and loves dinosaurs.

Dinos 1

The pattern for most of them comes from a fab site, MoochiOochi Crafts, with so many free patterns for felt toys and I will definitely come back to this site. I think the stegosaurus might just be my favourite one.

Dinos 2

Dinos 4

I found it through a You Tube tutorial and it is very helpful on how to put the dinosaurs together though I used running stitch then stitched it again to close the gaps rather than blanket stitch as I was not sure how neat I could make it. I just adapted the adult brontosaurus to make the babies.

Dinos 3

Dinos 5

I was tempted by some gorgeous camping themed fabric the other night, I cannot even remember where I was when I saw this but it is from the Riley Blake ‘I’d rather be glamping range’.

Campervan fabric

I know I will not be able to use this for about 3 years but thought that I would rather get it now to add to stash and then when I hopefully get my little camper van it can be turned into a cushion. It is so cute! I got it from Sew Scrumptious Fabrics with low postage and very fast delivery.

Well I am off to Spain tomorrow, I haven’t seen Mum for 6 months so am really looking forward to spending lots of time with her and lots and lots of time doing not much in the warm. I am taking some cross stitch with me to make start on the ornaments for next year and will also be working on some more knitted animals for various friends.

Take care, have a very happy Christmas if you are celebrating, thanks for visiting and see you in a few weeks!

 

Giveaway winner

Apologies for being a day late with the giveaway winner, I have been really ill for about 10 days with a horrible cough and flu. I am still having to go to work but have missed lots of nice social events and have not had time to catch up with anything.

Enough of the moaning, hopefully I will feel better soon and will get chance to pop back and show you my lovely dinosaurs, I have been frantically trying to finish everything but I am so slow at the moment as I feel so rough.

Anyway the winner of the giveaway is Roweena Combs, please could you e-mail me at alisonmryan@yahoo.co.uk with your address and I can post the ornament to you.

Thanks to everyone who liked or commented and thanks for visiting for all or part of the last 12 years! Hopefully I will find time a little later this week to post again as I am off to Spain for 3 weeks on Saturday. Mum says it is 20 degrees there at the moment and I am so looking forward to that after the last couple of cold, wet weeks here.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Still sparkling and a giveaway!

The house is still full of little glittery bits as I have been finishing off the last of the ornaments. Every time I cut up the glittery ribbons some falls on the carpet and despite my best efforts to vacuum it up I see little glittery bits in the carpets up the stairs and in the bedroom. It is all very festive so I don’t mind.

Xmas decs Dec 1

I have made two stockings from Jenny of Elefantz’s pattern from last year. This is not currently on sale as was one of her last monthly stitching clubs. I still need to get around to making some of these filled with lavender as they would look great in Liberty with some of my vintage lace stash on them.These are for my Mum and Aunt.

The cousins will have pine cones this year, I have really enjoyed going back to these and have made some for other friends as well. There is a good tutorial here on to how to make them and they are a very therapeutic make in front of the TV.  I pin on little star sequins at the top as this stops the upper ribbons from lifting off and adds a bit of bling.

Xmas decs Dec 6

I have almost run out of Christmas ribbons. I did manage to find this gorgeous holly one at my local craft shop but this was the last of the pink and gold poinsettia design below which is so pretty.The ribbon flowers on the top of one of them in the picture above come from this seller on Ebay and come in lots of different colours, not just Christmas ones.

Xmas decs Dec 11

Xmas decs Dec 16

Xmas decs Dec 17

I still have a bit of silver and blue ribbon and lots of pearl pins so I have been making some alternative colours as well.I have so many little sequins from when I used to cross stitch cards that I have been using up like these pearly ones here.

I am not putting up my tree this year, I know that is a very unusual thing for a Christmas ornament fan like me to say but there is only me here and I am leaving on the 21st so would not be around to take it down so although I will be decorating it will be smaller scale this year. I will be helping to decorate the Wool and Wine tree at our local church’s tree festival this Friday so that will be lovely.

It has been lovely seeing all the ever growing piles of ornaments, I never get tired of making them and have lots of ideas of new types for next year.I think I have finished now although when I have finished the gifts I may well go back to them and start on the making for 2020, I was a little ahead of myself this year as I had carried on in January and it does help. I have finally started making the gift for Ava, I am making felt dinosaurs and they are so cute! Hopefully I will have them finished by next weekend so that I can post pictures for you.

Finally the giveaway. It is my blogaversary again – 12 whole years on Weds so I thought since I am organised and have some time before Christmas to sort things I would offer an ornament as a prize this year. All you have to do is like or comment on this post to be in with a chance of winning. I will pick the winner on the 15th Dec which gives me chance to pick one of my recent makes and post the ornament out.

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog, I have so enjoyed doing this for the last 12 years, as well as it being fantastic way of me recording what I do and reminding me when I have forgotten where I found things  I really enjoy interacting with all of you through it so thank you all for your continued support.

Until next time, take care and thanks for visiting, off to stitch more spots on a stegosaurus!

 

 

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas ….

Thankfully the ornament production is well under way now, inspired by our little Wool and Wine workshop session last weekend I have been making lots and lots of things this week so am actually now ahead of myself in terms of what I need which is great.

Part of the reason that I have made extra is so that some can go to our Wool and Wine tree at the local Christmas tree festival in the village church but also because I just love making them. They are so sparkly and pretty and fill my little heart with joy 🙂

Xmas baubles Nov 4

These three all use a similar colourway and the same type of finishing with this very ornate gold braid around the centre. I love these ribbons, so much velvet and satin loveliness!The embellishments are mainly jewelry making supplies and a variety of different types of beads which I bought from Ebay .

 

The next set are more muted but still very gorgeous, sadly I am running out of these ribbons and will have to source more. I think the green one originally came from Tesco but I must have had it for about 10 years.

Xmas baubles Nov 9

 

There are several Youtube videos of how to make these and you can use either fabric squares or ribbon but one of the best sources of information and inspiration is The Ornament Girl, if you sign up to her site she will send you tutorial links by e-mail.

Rosemari, Sarah and Debbie made the baubles as well at our crafting session, I forgot to get a picture of Sarah’s which was a gorgeous blue and silver one but here is Debbie’s ribbon bauble and Rosemari’s silver fabric one. The fabric version comes from Decorations to Dazzle by Springwood House Designs.

Edited to add: The Ornament Girl has just offered a freebie PDF book on how to make these fabric baubles with an included template – follow this link for more details.

Xmas baubles Nov 1

Xmas baubles Nov 3

I have also made one pine cone so far, again from Springwood House Designs, this design was originally a kit. I just kept adding more and more fabric to this one so it has so many layers! I have been struggling to find any long gold topped pins but have lots of pearl ones so thought I would use one of those and think that it looks good.

Xmas baubles Nov 14

Xmas baubles Nov 15

Xmas baubles Nov 16

I was sorting out some of my ornaments to use for our group tree and came across a little knitted stocking that I made lots of about 6 years ago. They are so cute so I made two more this week. A lovely quick knit from Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits , this is a free pattern from her and you can put so many variations in in terms of contrast toe and heel colour.

Xmas baubles Nov 17

Xmas baubles Nov 18

Xmas baubles Nov 19

I think the reindeer head buttons were originally bought from a craft fair but you can find similar ones on Ebay here .

I love these multicoloured versions of the stockings from Miyayo on Ravelry which I found while searching for other knitted ornament patterns. These would make a lovely Advent Calendar as well and you can use any Fair Isle or cross stitch pattern for the design that fits in with the 27 stitch count.

Mini-Knitted-Christmas-Socks-Pattern-550x413

I have still got a few more ornaments that I want to make and also have some presents to make. There will hopefully be some felty cuteness of a new sort coming soon for my great-niece Ava, maybe I will get a start on that this weekend.

Hope all your pre-Christmas craftiness is coming all well and have a good week ahead. Thanks for visiting.

 

Home from home

As you know I love camping and last week I had an extra special trip because I went away with my sister, Jacky, in her camper van to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. I have been looking at camper van videos on Youtube constantly for the last few years as I am hoping to buy one when I retire (after learning to drive of course!) so I was very excited to be staying in one.

Dales camper van 5

The van is a custom conversion which was made for her by the previous company she bought a van from and is based on a standard van with a fitted out interior.

Dales camper van 3

There is a small seating area, with table at the entrance and then a kitchen and storage area with fitted units and a double bed across the width of the van with lots of storage underneath.It has a working sink and also has a portaloo so it was real luxury compared to being in a tent 🙂

Jacky is an experienced van owner, this being her fourth one, but she had not done a lot of camping in it since getting it in August as she had mostly used it for festivals. This was also a test of how it would work with two people and the conversion of the living area for a single bed. It was lovely to see the cushion I made for her in situ as well.

Dales camper van 1

We stayed at a beautifully located campsite, Woodend Farm , just outside the village of Austwick in the Dales.Below are the views from our pitch, we also had electric hook up so had lights and heating! Real luxury 🙂

Dales camper van 4

Dales camper van 6

Dales camper van 2

I can heartily recommend the site as it was very well maintained with amazing views across the valley and a little stream running through it. It would be great for kids to play in the summer as there was lots of space and being a working farm there were lots of sheep. The whole of the Dales is covered in sheep in wonderful dry stone walled fields so I felt very at home.

Dales sheep 1

Dales sheep 2

It is an area I have visited before, we camped there quite a few times when the children were young but I have not been for about 15 years. The weather was brilliant, we had three days of sunshine and so were able to go for lots of walks, mainly to see waterfalls as we both love those.

Dales waterfalls 12

Dales 6

Gordale Scar was our first trip, the gorge leading up the waterfall is really beautiful with impressively large rock walls and a babbling stream which leads into a cleft in the rock where a waterfall tumbles down.

There were lots of adventurous people climbing up it, Jacky went much nearer than I did and you can see her in the middle picture. I am have not done much off road walking in the last year due to the arthritis and I didn’t want to fall.

Dales waterfalls 8

Dales waterfalls 9

Dales waterfalls 13

The views were just stunning, couldn’t believe that the weather was so good. We even stopped and had ice cream at the little refreshment van on the way out it was that lovely.

Dales waterfalls 11

 

That afternoon we went to Malham Tarn, owned by the National Trust as Marsden Moor is, and very similar in scenery to our local reservoirs. We saw a little deer there in among the trees and lots more sheep.

Dales 13

Dales 12

The next day we went to Stainforth Force, another impressive, though lower waterfall where I did manage to slip on these rocks and fall into the shallow bit on the bank in the picture below.

Dales waterfalls 7

Dales waterfalls 6

Dales waterfalls 5

Not too injured but very wet we spent some time in a cafe at the nearby Langcliffe Park caravan site drying off and had a little wander admiring the vans and their beautiful views across the valley.

Dales 1

Dales 2

Dales 3

One of my early retirement plans before buying the house in Spain was to live in a static caravan and I just love them. I may end up buying one yet, so many lovely reminders of childhood holidays and nowadays they are very luxurious.

After going back to the van and changing (one of the advantages of having your house with you!) we climbed up the hill to Catrigg Force. The path took a bit of finding and it was a steep climb but well worth it as the waterfall is located in a wonderful glade and comes crashing down from the moor above into a deep chasm. This time I stayed safely above the rocks while Jacky went exploring!

Dales waterfalls 4

Dales waterfalls 1

Dales waterfalls 2

Dales waterfalls 3

A really brilliant break, it was lovely to spend time with my sister and we both really appreciated the time away from work. She is a primary school teacher and works very long hours in a school with lots of challenges so it was great to just unwind, go on lovely walks, sit and play cards and games in the van at night and generally enjoy life. There were some beautiful sunsets and skies and we just loved all of the gorgeous walls with their moss cladding.

Dales 5

Dales 7

Dales 4

It has been a very cold and wet week here, as for most of the country, so I have spent a large majority of the time very damp as I have started doing my placement visits. Much as I enjoy this part of my job standing at freezing bus stops is not fun so I have appreciated working from home today in the warm and dry.

I am hosting a Christmas ornament making session on Sunday for the Wool and Wine group which will allow me to finish off a couple of things. Despite my best efforts I am still going to be rushing to finish everything in time, thank goodness I made some ornaments in Jan.

I hope that you have a good weekend ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.